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Proper Green: 3 Ways To Green Your Drive

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Whether you have an SUV or a hybrid, these 3 super easy tips will help you save gas (and money!), and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

Dear Proper Green,

I have an SUV. It’s no hybrid, so is there anything I can do to make driving it greener?

-Sandy, Fort Worth, TX

Dear Sandy,

Yes! Much of it comes down to saving gas, which in turn reduces pollution, saves natural resources, and saves money. There are so many options, we’ll dive right in with three of the easiest:
  • Pack light. The lighter your car is, the better MPG you’re likely to get. The easiest way to make a big difference here is to take out the heaviest items — meaning, it’s okay to keep your spare reusable bags in the car, but don’t drive around with a set of golf clubs sitting in the trunk.
  • Avoid idling. Idling uses more gas than restarting your car, so when you’re waiting to pick up the kids or considering the drive-thru’s very, very long line, opt for turning off the car instead. That said, restarting your own car excessively winds up using a good deal of gas, so don’t turn your car off and on while you’re in line for the drive through; choose a parking space and walk in.
  • Keep to the speed limit. If this sounds like a strange eco-tip, we understand. But according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage decreases rapidly every 5 MPH you go above 50 MPH. Cruise control may come in handy to help you stay at the right speed for safety and gas savings!

Do you have any tips to green your drive? Share them in the comments below!

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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more

  • becky p. 2 years ago
    I like the idea of turning off the vehicle, not using the drive thru. and walking in the business. Saves gas and I get a little exercise.
  • Rachelmary A. 2 years ago
    Living on tight budget,great teacher of as many stops as possible at one time,I like to go around circle,and here one can.
  • Ann M. 2 years ago
    Good thing I have a Prius!!! Just hit the ECO button and run off the battery. :)
  • RICHARD SR C. 3 years ago
  • Deb K. 5 years ago
    Always run a route to combine several different stops.
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